A few years ago I was in a dentist office, having x-rays done. I kept gagging whenever the hygienist put the tags in my mouth. After a few failed attempts, the hygienist told me to focus on my toes. And so I did. Amazingly, my gag reflex had subsided. Such is the power of focus and attention.
When we feel some sort of pain or discomfort, it seems natural for the mind to dwell on that until a solution is found. In the case of the x-ray, the solution was gagging until I forced the tags – the source of my discomfort – out of my mouth.
By shifting my attention away from the focal point of pain, the hygienist had been quite effective at reducing the pain enough to allow the procedure to be done.
I noticed a similar technique can be helpful for managing the pains of Small Fiber Neuropathy, when they are on a more moderate pain-scale level. If I feel burning pains or other painful sensations, simply putting my hand on an icepack seems to help in some measurable way. This seems to help, regardless of wherever the pain exists in my body. My mind’s focus shifts to the focal point of the icy cold sensation my hand feels, rather than the burning or pain that my body feels. I have found this helps make the experience more bearable.